Soldier amputated his own leg to save the lives of his crewmates

Fearing for the rest of the crew, Maes was determined to free his own leg.

“I pushed and pulled at my leg as hard as I could to get loose and felt a sharp tear,” Maes said. “I thought I had dislodged my leg, but when I moved away, my leg was completely gone.”

Despite bleeding heavily, Maes rushed back to the tank to grab a tourniquet from the medical kit.

“All I could think about was no one knows we’re down here,” he said. “Either I step up or we all die.”